🔤 Grammar Tip: The Power in a Short Sentence

“Short sentences can pack a punch. They . . .”

Short Sentences

Short sentences can pack a punch. They can create tension. They can be beautiful and rhythmic. They also stand out more when surrounded by longer sentences.

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🔤 Grammar Tip: Are You Better “Then” or “Than”?

“Then is a description of time . . .”

Then & Than

Then is a description of time—”I wrote the sales letter and then I wrote the advertisement”—while than is used when making a comparison—”I am more sick of this picky client than you are!”

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Grammar Tip: Sentence Writing

Don’t use unnecessary instances of “which,” “as,” “with,” and “while;” use modifiers instead.

Two example: 1.  Change the sentence, “I drove down the freeway, which made me feel carsick” suffers from the “which.” TO: “I drove down the freeway, feeling carsick.” Example 2: “The teacher cleaned her desk while listening to The Beatles.” TO:  “The teacher cleaned her desk, listening to The Beatles.”

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🔤 Grammar Tip: Do We Have to Agree?

The Short Answer: Yes if we’re talking about subjects and verbs. 

The subject and verb of a sentence must agree with one another in number whether they are singular or plural. If the subject of the sentence is singular, its verb must also be singular; and if the subject is plural, the verb must also be plural.

Example 1:

Incorrect: An important part of my life have been the people who stood by me.

Correct: An important part of my life has been the people who stood by me.

Example 2:

Incorrect: The two best things about the party was the food and the music.

Correct: The two best things about the party were the food and the music.

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🔤 Grammar Tip: Do I Capitalize or Not Capitalize?

When to capitalize and when not to capitalize

When To Capitalize and When Not to Capitalize

  1. Capitalize ‘I’
  2. Capitalize nations, national nouns and adjectives – French, Russian, English, Italy, Canadian, etc.
  3. Capitalize the first letter of the first word in a new sentence or question
  4. Do NOT capitalize common nouns, nouns are only capitalized if they are the name of something
  5. Capitalize proper names of people, institutions, festivals, etc.
An example: I go to university. (common noun -> university)

BUT
I go to the University of Texas. (noun used as proper name)

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🔤 Grammar Tip: Is It Better to “Resign” or “Re-sign”?

Is it better to ‘resign’ or ‘re-sign’ when it comes to your job?

Resign and Re-sign

Resign — without the hyphen — means to quit your job and the “s” is pronounced like a “z.”

Example: My boss didn’t want to increase my salary so I decided to resign. This will be my last week of work.

Re-sign — with the hyphen — means to sign a contract again and it usually also means that you’ve decided to stay in your current job! In re-sign, the “s” is pronounced as an “s,” and you emphasize the first syllable.

Example: I love my current job, so I happily re-signed for another year.

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🔤 Grammar Tip: Are You “Very” Late or “Too” Late?

How are very and too different?

How Are Very and Too Different?

A: It is very hot.
B: It is too hot.

A is a simple statement- It’s HOT!

But B shows some difficulty, like maybe because it is so hot, I feel terrible. Or because it is so hot, no one is happy.

Here are some more…

C: Lisa is very tall.
D: Lisa is too tall.

C is a simple statement. Wow! Lisa is a tall girl.

But D has a negative feeling. Perhaps because Lisa is tall, she hits her head on the ceiling. Or maybe she is so tall, she can’t get a date or has no friends.

So remember, using too shows that there is a problem with the situation.

5 Minute English

🔤 Grammar Tip: Did “Both” or “Neither” of You Dislike Dinner?

Incorrect: Both did not come.
Correct: Neither came.

Incorrect: Both of them did not pass the test.
Correct: Neither of them passed the test.

In negative clauses, we use ‘neither’ not both.

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🔤 Grammar Tip: Know When to Use Who, Whose and Whom and Not That

That vs. Who, Whose and Whom

“I hear people say “that” for other people all the time. “Who” is for people; “that” is for everything else.

The hack: Who and whom are for humans. Think human — who-man.

Examples:

The people who work here are nice.

John is the guy to whom my friend is married. (Not: John is the guy that my friend is married to.)

The book that she’s reading looks good.”

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Grammar Tip: There & Their Chase Their Subject

 In sentences beginning with “there is” or “there are,” the subject follows the verb. Since “there” is not the subject, the verb agrees with what follows.
There are many questions.
There is a question.

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